Event Details

Consultation Session: EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive

18 January 2017

A consultation session, organised by MEUSAC, in collaboration with the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change (MSDEC) and the Environment Resources Authority (ERA), was held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the offices of the ERA on the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive which sets a number of goals to maintain a good environmental status.

Ms Miraine Rizzo from the ERA, who gave a presentation, explained that a new deliverable is being introduced, that is the programme of measures to maintain a good environmental status.

“Environment-related targets were always there along with monitoring programmes aimed at assessing the marine environment but a programme of measures is now in place,” she said.

The measures are as follows:
•  Member States shall, in respect of each marine region or sub-region concerned, identify the measures which need to be taken in order to achieve or maintain good environmental status, as determined pursuant to Article 9(1), in their marine waters.
•  Those measures shall be devised on the basis of the initial assessment made pursuant to Article 8 (1) and by reference to the environmental targets established pursuant to Article 10 (1)
•  Member States shall integrate the measures into a programme of measures taking into account relevant measures required under community legislation (WFD, UWWT, BWQ)
•  Programme of measures shall include spatial protection measures, contributing to coherent and representative networks of marine protected areas.

Issues in relation to the measures include anchoring as a pressure on seabed habitats, environmental concerns in permitting of offshore activity, fisheries in Marine Protected Areas, Interactions of fisheries with species, pressures from light and noise on seabirds, reptiles and mammals, improvement of data collection processes, removal of accumulated litter, fishing gear, among others.

However, a number of attendees called for a better monitoring system to be introduced to assess emissions from ships, especially with the ever increasing number of cruise liners entering our waters.

“We have done well treating sewage in line with the Barcelona Convention but we need to follow suit when it comes to monitoring contaminants in our seas as a result of ships and cruise liners and enhance existing regulations.”

As a signatory to the Barcelona Convention, Malta is committed to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Mr Darrin Stevens from the ERA said that the authority is presenting the measures but certain issues fall under remit of other entities.

As a signatory to the Barcelona Convention, Malta is committed to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Mr Darrin Stevens from the ERA said that the authority is presenting the measures but certain issues fall under remit of other entities.

 

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